End-of-Month Rundown – April 2014

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12. Gokukoku no Brynhildr

Brynhildr had an intriguing start, but my main qualm continues to be a jarring lack of consistency in tone throughout episodes. The fourth episode in particular was quite egregious in jumping from gratuitous violence and high school harem situations with some truly dark and horrifying concepts like human experimentation and body liquification. It’s an unbalanced top right now, and it may fall right off our watchlist if it doesn’t improve—MagicalChurlSukui

Average Rating: 6.25 (4 of 13 episodes watched)
MAL Score: 7.56

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10. Akuma no Riddle

This show has settled into what I consider to be a good solid formula moving forward: there’s about as many assassins as episodes left, meaning about one will go after Haru every week, during which time we’ll learn more about them. Of course, if the show wants to switch things up by having multiple assassins join forces, have more assassins join Haru and Tokaku’s side, that works for me, too. And while each has saved the other’s life at least once, the romantic relationship teased in the OP has yet to pan out a quarter of the way into the show. Sakura Trick this is not—Braverade

Average Rating: 7.25 (4 of 12 episodes watched)
MAL Score: 7.46

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10. Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei

With a full 26-episode run, Mahouka taking its time establishing its world, systems, relationships and factions, but it’s great seeing the apparent “weed” Tatsuya being able to stand toe-to-toe with the most elite “blooms” the school has to offer, due to his mysterious, unique powers. Miyuki’s very close bond with her brother is apparently going to be a continuing source of comedy, but so far it’s been overused—MagicalChurlSukui

Average Rating: 7.25 (4 of 13 first cour episodes watched)
MAL Score: 8.00

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9. Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin

While I’m enjoying the growing bond between the lead guy and the master detective, the true strength of Ryuugajou so far is the execution of its puzzles, much like No Game No Life hinges on well-executed games. So far, I’ve really enjoyed the initial inscrutability of the puzzles, as well as the ways the group figures things out and use their combined skills to solve them. I’m less enamored of the threat of a Big Bad Organization aiming to ruin all the fun, however—sesameacrylic

Average Rating: 7.33 (3 of 11 episodes watched)
MAL Score: 7.58

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7. Mekakucity Actors

Mekakucity aims to be hip and stylish, and in some regards in succeeds due to its quirky editing and “camerawork” typical of Shaft/Shinbou joints (see Nisekoi). And after three episodes, the nine-member group seems to be coming together nicely, and I like the diverse personalities (and powers). But this is a stylish show in a season full of stylish shows, so it will have to find a way to distinguish itself—sesameacrylic

Average Rating: 7.67 (3 of 12 episodes watched)
MAL Score: 7.74

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7. Hitsugi no Chaika

Like Spice & Wolf and Sunday Without God, this show brings together strangers who become friends on an exciting adventure through an alternate-universe world. I haven’t been shy with the FF comparisons, meant as complimentary and not knocks. The mission of the core trio couldn’t be simpler on the surface, but I like how they could end up inadvertently throwing the realm into chaos if they ultimately succeed, and all the parties trying to keep that from happening. The battles and beasts are also awesome so far—MagicalChurlSukui

Average Rating: 7.67 (3 of 12 episodes watched)
MAL Score: 7.36

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4. No Game No Life

NGNL carries on the always entertaining tradition of an elite gamer suddenly finding his skills are useful in reality, like SAO (returning this Summer) and God Only Knows. In this case, it’s and all new world, and a rich and detailed one at that, with its own gamey systems of operation. It was a very auspicious and ambitious start, and the games are played out as intense battles full of internal analysis and strategizing. The show can get a little hyper at times, but I prefer energy to listlessness—sesameacrylic

Average Rating: 8.00 (3 of 12 episodes watched)
MAL Score: 8.46

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4. Nisekoi

With just four episodes left, two things are clear: One, Raku has to make a decision; and Two, that decision is incredibly tough. I’ve shuffled my ranking of the four girls around plenty, but the thing is, every time I’ve settled on a ranking, an episode focusing on one girl comes around to remind you that ranking them is a waste of time, because they’ve all demonstrated they make equally great choices. I will say that Raku should go with the girl he currently likes quite a lot at present, and that’s Kosaki. But that could change next week—sesameacrylic

Average Rating: 8.00 (3 of 8 second cour episodes watched)
MAL Score: 8.16

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4. Black Bullet

With four straight 8s out of the gate, it would be argued Bullet is the most consistent Spring show. I’m enjoying the fast-paced action, but also the close relationship established between the core duo, suggesting they’re not only a formidable at fighting gastrea, but at questioning the prejudice and oppression that infects the world they’re protecting, taking up the social justice baton passed to it by WizBar last season—Braverade

Average Rating: 8.00 (4 of 13 episodes watched)
MAL Score: 7.81

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3. One Week Friends

My favorite show so far combines elements from some of my favorite striaght romances and rom-coms of recent years, such as Kimi ni TodokeSukitte Ii na yo, Kotoura-san, and most recently, Golden Time, with the memory element. I also love the show’s delicate pastel palette and way the edges of the show’s frames are fuzzy, reflecting the ephemeral nature of Kaori’s memories. Taneda Risa is also turning in another memorable performance after Kyoukai no Kanata. -sesameacrylic

Average Rating: 8.50 (4 of 13 episodes watched)
MAL Score: 8.02

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2. Sidonia no Kishi

Here’s the show with the widest distance between RABUJOI and MAL scores, and part of that could be the polarizing CGI animation. But the first episode packed a huge punch, pressing me to drop both Nobunaga and Captain Earth, two other mecha shows that just didn’t engage me. Sidonia’s characters may have a certain CGI sheen, but they’ve so far managed to pump a lot of warmth, humanity, and angst into them, and both they and their setting have a gritty, well-worn look. I don’t know much about the Gauna yet, but I know they scare the crap outta me and I’m glad I don’t have to fight them! I know, ironic considering my handle. -Braverade

Average Rating: 8.67 (3 of 12 episodes watched)
MAL Score: 7.27

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1. Nagi no Asukara

Fall 2013 is the season that keeps on kicking ass, with Nagi joining Golden Time and Kill la Kill as second cours that outshine everything in the present season. Granted, Nagi has a leg up in that its story and our investment in its characters are already well-established, but regardless Nagi is simply killing it right now with 9s across the board and very few flaws. MAL would seem to agree with us: it’s the highest-rated show on this list, edging out NGNL. -MagicalChurlSukui

Average Rating: 9.00 (5 of 13 second cour episodes watched)
MAL Score: 8.52

 

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One thought on “End-of-Month Rundown – April 2014”

  1. My friend, you need to watch Mushishi. The second season is airing right now. I never watched the first season and I had no problem jumping in since the show is episodic (every episode is self contained).

    It is breath taking. Every episode has excellent story telling. By far, my favorite show of the season.

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